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Becoming a man of honor


I know I talk a lot about the seminars led by Anne and Brian Bercht, author of “My husband’s affair became the best thing that ever happened to me”.

Anne Bercht Book on Infidelity

I do so because I believe strongly in what they do, both theoretically, but also practically, as I have participated in two of their weekends, and was asked to coach at upcoming seminars for betrayed wives.  They are the most compassionate couple, who sincerely want you to thrive, and find your way through this horrible experience.

There is a weekend designed exclusively for men, called “Man of Honor”.  This weekend, which takes place in a beautiful outdoor retreat in Colorado, allows men to come together and learn what it takes to be a man of honor, to build character worthy of respect, and to leave a legacy.  It welcomes unfaithful men, as well as men who have been betrayed.  This is the only seminar, other than the healing from affairs weekend for couples, where the betrayed and the unfaithful come together to learn, to share, and to grow.

I am pleased to say that my husband will be attending the upcoming weekend for men on May 3-5th, 2013.  Although he has come so far, and made great strides in repairing what he did through his affair, he still sees value in learning more, protecting more, and growing more.  I respect and admire that about him, and am pleased that he doesn’t ever consider himself “done”.  It is a lifelong growth curve that he feels he will always be on, and this issue and its ramifications will forever be in the wings of his mind, acting as a guiding force as he navigates boundaries with other women, co-workers, and friends.  This experience has shown him that this can happen to ANYONE, and that unless you are taking active steps to prevent an affair, thinking that you are immune is the greatest vulnerability your marriage will ever experience.

For anyone whose husband is struggling with how to support their betrayed spouse, for men who have healed but want to take it to the next level, for betrayed men who want answers to how to heal, and for any man who just wants to be BETTER, this seminar will get you there.  I respect and advocate for their work so much, I wanted to blog about it 🙂

It can be costly to attend these weekends…it’s true.  But, you also need to ask yourself how much it will cost emotionally and financially to lose your marriage?   It’s worth it.  Go.

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Comments

  1. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    #1 Not having a good day today (per my comments on the blog of: http://www.bubsyd.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/crazy-stupid-love ),

  2. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    #2 but I (like you) still want to help people. I’ve referred this post to several repentant WSs whose blogs I follow.

  3. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    (My phone only lets me post “new,” not “reply.”) Did U rd my 2nd set of posts on that pg? Melancholia.

    • I have gone to BAN’s Healing from Affairs weekend, the Take Back Your Life, and now my husband is going to the Man of Honor weekend in May.

      • Then your husband will be meeting mine 🙂

      • Yes my husband just signed up last night and got his flight and car rental squared away. He is looking forward to it and hoping he will get a lot out of it. Brian said they have around 15 men and they close it around 20-22. Take back your Life was such a good experience for me that I’m hoping this does the same for my husband.

  4. RMM
    I read some of your previous posts abut OW and the lines ‘ it is like rewarding your rapist’ couldn’t ring more true. It must feel so awful that that money is not even going to the child. your husband must be so torn apart that his child is to live with such woman.
    I seriously feel that child support remains no more for the child but as a means of revenge and income for attys and courts. These payments make suffer the existing children by not taking their needs into account and also unfair to the recipient child as the mother uses it for her manicure rather than food. I think some serious amendments are required in the laws.

    I read some of your prev posts and realized how your H must have fall prey to this. The woman showed him wondrous fantasies and escapes through his period of turmoil and he just fell down for the ‘quick fix’. saying and doing the right things on the right time in order to drive you away and lots more. she is seriously a psycho….
    this is also a request to all men there… I know you might be able to compartmentalize or separate sex etc BUT DON’T GIVE UP MEANINGFUL YEARS FOR MEANINGLESS SECONDS. because nothing destroys marriage as fast as infidelity. It is true that affairs happen even in good marriage but they are enough to ruin them. this is also a lesson for men to not believe those women who claim that this for sex or I don’t want you to leave your wife and several others tantrums they play to get the man and then reveal their ulterior motives..

    I always find accounts of BS or OW’s twisted love story but men or wayward spouse hardly write. I would like to make a request to Mr RMM to write his account as well so that we can get an insight of the WS psychology in indulging in an affair. which is very rare.

  5. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    daphne3631, an excellent blog from a repentant WH is http://www.whyhaveanaffair.wordpress.com It is a dual-perspective blog,…

  6. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    that he writes & his BW posts her views in the Comments sections of his posts. I named them Mr & Mrs B & they luv it!

  7. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    His BW, Bubsy, also has a blog (she writes; he posts in her Comments sections): http://www.bubsyd.wordpress.com

  8. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    P.S. RMM was the 1st affair blog I ever rd. It’s helped me thru some dark days. I’ve recommended it to many bloggers! 🙂

  9. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    Btw RMM, light the fire under Mr RMM to get him to blog! I’ve been hoping he’d start a blog for months now! 😀

  10. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    That’s great, RMM! We’re all looking forward to it.

    Affectionately, 1981 🙂

  11. I’ve wanted to go. This book was one of the first I read after I found out. Sadly the cost is way out of my budget. If the situation ever changes I’ll look into it again. I’m glad you got to do it and benefited.

  12. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    Hi RMM, I’m sharing this with all my cyberfriends ( this was reposted from huperecho.wordpress.com ). You already know EVERYTHING in the following, but as I included your moniker in my opening paragraph, I wanted to forward to you a copy. 🙂 1981
    “The following is from Anne and Brian Bercht, founders of Beyond Affairs Network (BAN). Anne is the author of “My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” (PLEASE DON’T MISJUDGE THAT BOOK’S TITLE! WHEN YOU READ THE BOOK YOU’LL SEE THAT THE TITLE IS SOMEWHAT OF A “TEASER” AND THAT ANNE BERCHT IS A VERY RECOGNIZED AND QUALIFIED COUNSELOR AND FORMER BETRAYED SPOUSE.) Her article (below) concerns the MISINFORMATION in the entire world (INCLUDING therapists) pertaining to Betrayed Spouses and Wayward Spouses. I’m sharing this with everyone I “know.” Rescuing My Marriage (a former mental health therapist) works regularly with Anne and Brian Bercht and highly recommends their programs.” from 1981

    Reposted from huperecho.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/regrets-the-fine-line-between-contributing-to-marital-problems-and-causing-a-spouses-infidelity ” I thought this was a good read and it comes from a woman who has successfully healed from infidelity and is still with her husband today. You can read other articles at beyondaffairs.com ” from Marie (huperecho)

    Regrets – The Fine Line Between Contributing to Marital Problems and Causing a Spouse’s Infidelity (by Anne Bercht):

    A Reader’s Question to Anne Bercht: Dear Anne – I am noticing that I am entering a new stage of grief. I am struggling with finding the line between contributing to some of our marital problems, and causing his infidelity. My heart and brain say 2 different things. Can you explain this?

    Anne Bercht’s Answer: The more I learn about extramarital affairs, the more amazed I am that society generally fails to see the elephant in the room when it comes to the cause of affairs.

    When you discover that your spouse has been unfaithful, most people ask themselves “What did I do wrong?” (The answer is nothing, but we can’t grasp that yet, neither can our friends, neither can our spouse, AND OFTENTIMES NEITHER CAN OUR THERAPIST.)

    The people in our lives help us blame ourselves. I don’t know how many times I was faced with a well-meaning friend asking, “Anne, I wonder what you did to cause Brian’s affair?” Then we ask our unfaithful spouse, “Why did you do this to me?” They are usually ready with a list of grievances of how unhappy they were and can readily tell us what we did to cause their affair.

    When you go as a couple to see a counselor or therapist (devastated and desperate for support, love, and empathy), you will usually be faced with this statement: “Let’s not talk about the affair. Let’s talk about what was wrong in the marriage to cause the affair?” The very premise of the question may lead you astray from finding the answer you need. OFTEN NOTHING WAS WRONG IN THE MARRIAGE TO CAUSE THE AFFAIR.

    Why do we not get it that even in happy marriages, especially long-term relationships, it can feel enticing when a 3rd party starts paying attention to us? Most unfaithful spouses are unaware of what’s happening at first. The beginnings are often very subtle.

    Of course since there are no perfect marriages and no perfect people, when we go looking for the “problem in the marriage,” or the problem with the faithful spouse, we can always find something to blame the affair on.

    One woman came to my BAN group after 30 years of marriage. She was a mess. Her husband had an affair every 5 years in their marriage, and every time he had an affair, they went for therapy and discovered what SHE did wrong to cause the infidelity. The first time it turned out it was because she didn’t keep the house clean enough and this really bothered her husband. So she became a better house cleaner, and they moved on believing they were healed. Ten years into the marriage it turned out she was a poor listener. So she became a really good listener, and that therapist affirmed them both that all was well. 15 years into the marriage it turned out she wasn’t having enough recreational companionship with her husband. So she began to play golf with him and they were supposedly healed. 20 years into the marriage it turned out that she was not adventurous enough in the bedroom, so she became a sex goddess, acquired an extensive lingerie collection, and got experimental. WHY ARE WE MISSING THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM HERE? HE is the problem! HE is the one who is engaging in the unacceptable behavior! HE is the one who keeps breaking his promises!

    By the time the last affair was discovered 30 years into the marriage, the wife was losing her mind (testament to her high level of sanity that she made it this far). She admitted herself to the psych ward at the hospital. When she finally realized that SHE WAS NOT THE PROBLEM, she was able to heal. Had the real core issues been addressed from the beginning BY THEIR THERAPISTS, this marriage may have been saved.

    The “I DON’T LOVE YOU – I LOVE YOU BUT I’M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU – I’VE NEVER LOVED YOU” lies that many Wayward Spouses say:
    One woman’s husband told her that in all the 35 years they had been married, he had never once loved her, not even when he asked her to marry her. Really? If this were true one could only conclude he was a total idiot. Why would you choose to marry someone, and choose to stay married to him or her for 35 years when you never once loved him or her? After all, it was not as if she’d taken a gun to his head, right down the aisle to the altar and said: Say “I do” or I’ll shoot. He CHOSE to marry her and he is responsible for his decision. I hear this line from most unfaithful spouses we work with: “I never loved my spouse.” ***IT SIMPLY ISN’T TRUE!*** Unfaithful spouses convince themselves of this to give them permission to have affair/s, because otherwise, they would think of themselves as a ‘bad’ person. “If I love my spouse and I have an affair anyway, then I must be a bad person,” they reason. In addition, their thinking gets distorted. THEY REWRITE THEIR MARITAL HISTORY IN THEIR MINDS. BAD MEMORIES BECOME BIGGER, AND THE GOOD MEMORIES AND THE LOVING FEELINGS THEY ONCE HAD ARE FORGOTTEN.

    The elephant in the room, which society is missing completely, is that just because you have a good marriage, does not mean you cannot be tempted by an affair.

    To every betrayed spouse: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AFFAIR

    To every unfaithful spouse: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR AFFAIR

    I am often asked when I appear on television talk shows, “Do you accept responsibility for your part in Brian’s affair?” I answer, “I didn’t have a part in Brian’s affair, and if I would’ve been given a part I would’ve voted ‘no, let’s not do it.’”
    When I stand before God to give an account for my life, one question God will not be asking me is “Anne, why did you make Brian have an affair?”

    I will, however, give an account for ways that I may have failed Brian in the marriage, but these things did not cause the affair. For every marriage where we discover problems where there has been an affair, I can point to other marriages with worse problems where there has not been an affair. PROBLEMS IN MARRIAGE DOES NOT LEAD TO AFFAIRS. I’m appalled that I must state the obvious, but there are actually healthy ways to deal with problems in marriage!

    There are many marriages today with problems, and it is true that these marriages are more vulnerable to affairs than marriages that are happy. There are also many other factors that lead to affairs. These are the gaps. These are the things we bring forth by working in person with couples through our Healing From Affairs weekends. You can also have access to the cognitive part of this teaching and our assessment tool, which will help you determine the root causes of the affair in your marriage by listening to our Healing From Affairs DVD program.

    There is no time like the present (working through the devastation of an affair) to look at what could’ve been better in the marriage, but if we label these as the causes, we’re going to be missing significant factors that led to the affair. This thinking is the reason why there are so many repeat offenders. If you don’t find the real root, it’s going to happen again. If you over simplify the answer, you’re going to make some improvements, but be missing the big picture.

    Usually when the betrayed spouse asks the unfaithful spouse, “Why did you do this?” And the unfaithful spouse answers, “I don’t know.” THEY ARE TELLING THE TRUTH. THEY DON’T KNOW YET. YOU ARE GOING TO DISCOVER THIS TOGETHER.

    When we worked through our Healing from Affairs journey, of course I discovered things I did wrong in the marriage. Brian discovered things he did wrong in the marriag. We uncovered many behaviors of mine that had damaged and wounded my husband. We also uncovered many behaviors of my husband that had damaged and wounded me. We both made changes and it’s been wonderful to make and experience those changes.

    However…
    A defining moment for me came when Brian said, “Anne, I appreciate all the changes you’ve made since we’ve worked through the affair. Our marriage is so much better today, and I really value that. I’VE LEARNED, HOWEVER, THAT EVEN IF YOU’D BEEN THE PERFECT SPOUSE BEFORE MY AFFAIR, I STILL WOULD’VE HAD THE AFFAIR, BECAUSE MY AFFAIR HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, AND HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MY SHORTCOMINGS AS A MAN.”

    This is the elephant in the room.

    If you are the betrayed spouse, and you are less than 6 months from the day of your discovery of the affair (d-day), please don’t push yourself to look at your contribution to problems in the marriage. It’s too painful. Do it when you’re ready. It’s so important that we separate marital issues from affair issues. They must remain 2 separate issues if the marriage is to be healed. If they are not kept separate, the betrayed spouse struggles for ongoing years with unhealthy obsessiveness, that goes something like this:

    Am I pretty enough? Are we having enough recreational companionship? Are we having enough sex? Enough sexual 10’s? Am I being a good enough mother? (or Am I being a good enough father – if the BS is a man)? Is the house clean enough? The list is endless, and living with this list, believing it’s directly connected to the possibility of your spouse having another affair, is like living with a ball and a chain around your leg. You may as well be in prison. No one can live this way. I’m all for spouses working towards meeting each others’ needs and being conscious and intentional about their marriages. I highly recommend it, but not when we attach, “And if you get it wrong on any given day, I might have an affair.” No one gets it perfect all the time. I need permission to fail sometimes and know that my spouse will seek a healthy way of dealing with his dissatisfaction, not that my failure to get it right is going to lead to the pain of betrayal.

    I hope this serves to clarify the fine line between taking responsibility for ways we may have failed our spouse VS. taking responsibility for the affair.

    Again, I emphasize:
    To every betrayed spouse: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AFFAIR
    To every unfaithful spouse: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR AFFAIR

    Sincerely,
    Anne Bercht
    ©Copyright 2011 Anne and Brian Bercht. All rights reserved.

    • betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

      Friends,
      To clear up any ambiguities, I want to make it clear that the Anne Bercht article (above) is reposted from the blog of my friend Marie huperecho.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/regrets-the-fine-line-between-contributing-to-marital-problems-and-causing-a-spouses-infidelity

      The addition that I made is the first paragraph, “The following is from Anne and Brian Bercht, founders of Beyond Affairs Network (BAN)….and highly recommends their programs.” from 1981

      I’m careful to NOT take credit for someone else’s good deeds, and I’m WORKING ON (I haven’t gotten there yet) not taking the blame for someone else’s bad deeds. Marie’s blogging of Anne Bercht’s article is very much a good deed! As I’m not as blog-savvy as most of you, I don’t know how to “reblog”; therefore my reposting consists of “copy & paste” (old-fashioned word processing technique). 🙂 1981

  13. So glad to hear you have had a husband willing to go for any kind of help …My husband has refused because he is not willing to speak of his adulterous arrangement and several other adulteries even while in that adulterous arrangement. Call it pride, fear , ego or depression …he refuses to go for any more help since going to a therapist for a few months and ‘it didn’t help’ ….so for HIM …he’s good…but he assured me I could ‘used some help’ …no doubt about it ….it is ME that is the only one here with a problem.

    He admits he simply ‘can’t do this’ anymore referring to having to be in the presence of the mess he has made in all our lives. He lives here but really it is like he is a boarder. His family dealt with all difficult issues by ignoring them and not talking about them because it was too ‘negative’ !

    Now I find out as I think back ….simply did not see this in him …it took a few years and a complete turning away from the faith that he was so involved in before his ‘awakening ‘ to the joys of ‘other ‘ fun activities when marriage and family was ‘too hard’

    This stems from not being teachable to ANYONE who opposed his choice to live the lifestyle that ultimately lead to multiple adulteries and a long term one that eventually brought forth two children that they WANTED …..never mind thinking of how this effected at least those children who are now in therapy and on drugs for conditions stemming from the messes their parents are .

    These are very well educated and successful people who felt entitled to make a life upon the lives of anyone that they could despite the damages ….Real ‘love’ eh?

    So now they still make decisions with only themselves in mind even though the adultery has ceased and the REAL point comes out …MONEY….My husband ‘hates’ this OW for how he fell into this trap …>HE IS STILL the responsible one for his choices. She is another project that he no longer wants to have anything to do with cause he ” never would leave me and has always loved me ‘ which is what he leaned upon since first meeting her.

    I say he NEEDS to sit among some men who will address these deceptions …but he won’t go. Not even for our own children’s sake….not for anyone,. He says they are just there to make money ! and that it won’t help him. Argh…..!!!

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